James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

January 16, 2010

School Lunches

Filed under: food,Politics — Tags: , , , — James @ 5:44 am

In yet another article on the evils of corn syrup, I came across a weird quote:

Because SFUSD has focused on reducing fat and empty calories in cafeteria items, the meals are now very close to the USDA minimums, and are based on a meal which includes either 1-percent white milk or skim chocolate milk. “Replacing skim chocolate milk with skim white milk would cause the calorie count of the meal to drop below the USDA-mandated minimum,” says Woldow [A member of the San Francisco School District Student Nutrition Committee]

I feel weird thinking about this. Cutting sugar (regardless of whether it originates in sugarcase, or corn, or sweet sorghum, or the sugar beet) from school lunches is a laudable goal. But free and reduced price school lunches are also the closest thing some kids will have to a real meal all day. So San Francisco School District, in the push to make school lunches more healthy, if nothing else could you please increase the portions for healthy things as you cut out the foods you don’t approve of?

Cutting calories from a program that has a real impact on childhood hunger and malnutrition in our country isn’t something you should be proud of.

And just to be clear all that happened in the article linked above was to substitute sugar (produced from sugar beets, or sugar cane) for corn syrup on a calorie for calorie basis.

August 3, 2008

Finished In Iowa

Filed under: Campus Life,Electronics,Recreational Travel — Tags: , , , , — James @ 9:58 pm

I made my final presentation for my summer position on Thursday. Here’s a graphic showing the distribution of sequences of interest over the rice chromosomes:

With that presentation, and the following day of creating readmes for my folders full of blast results, sequences data, and perl scripts, my summer project was wrapped up. My time as a visiting scientist/scholar has come to an end. (Though I still have the ID card to prove it.) Next weekend I’ll be driving down I-80 towards fame, fortune … and San Francisco. Looking over the route on google maps I noticed the giant salt flats I’ll be driving through in Utah. Hopefully I’ll have the willpower to stop to take pictures of that and other spectacular natural scenery (Nevada, Utah, Wyoming are all going to be totally new for me.)

The total drive is looking at around 26 hours, which I’m very tempted to split into two thirteen-hour drives to save on paying for an extra night in a hotel.

Whenever I do make it to my new apartment, there’ll be internet waiting for me there. I decided to go with AT&T’s U-verse DSL. Mostly I picked them because my alternative was Comcast, the company that’s been in the news lately for interfering with user’s internet connections, but it turns out there’s discount involved if I were to ever get an AT&T cell phone, a consideration my current envy of Monty’s new iPhone.

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